Yakurr Local Government Area (LGA) in Cross River State has attained the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status under a programme run by the Federal Government, European Union and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
It came as the Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, raised the alarm that about 47 million Nigerians still practise open defecation.The Minister, who said this on Friday in Ugep, Yakurr LGA, regretted the high rate of open defecation in the country. "(Nigeria is) the highest in sub-Saharan Africa with a national sanitation access of 33 per cent. We understand that we need to do much more, if we are to eliminate open defecation and achieve 100 per cent access to sanitation and hygiene in the country," he said.
Suleiman, who was represented by the Permanent secretary, Dr. Musa Ibrahim, said his ministry has introduced initiatives to address the situation, which include a strategy document - 'Making Nigeria Open Defecation Free by 2025: A National Road Map'. Also is the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme.
Speaking at the occasion, Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Enugu, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh, expressed appreciation to Governor Ben Ayade for supporting and providing access to water and sanitation for women and children in the state.